The Philadelphia Eagles did on Sunday against the Washington Redskins, what they have done so many times during head coach Andy Reid’s 14 year tenure. The Eagles had to overcome a bad start like they have been forced to do in so many games and seasons under Reid. Another bad start, another late rally and another situation where they came up just short.
The Eagles did manage to strike first with a Jeremy Maclin 27 yard touchdown pass on their first possession of the game, but they were outscored 27-6 in the next two quarters. The Eagles scored a another touchdown on a 17 yard Dion Lewis run midway through the fourth quarter. The were deep in Redskins territory in the closing seconds of the game, but lost on a grounding call with just one second left.
The Eagles almost pulled off the unthinkable in what is most likely Andy Reid’s final home game in Philadelphia. Instead they fell just short and looked incredibly sloppy and foolish while doing so. The good news is the Eagles still have a shot at a top three draft pick. The bad news, that would make them one of the worst three teams in the NFL.
Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles certainly looked like a rookie at times against the Redskins. He did complete 32 out of 48 passes for 345 yards and a touchdown. He did throw one interception as well, but it was tipped at the line. He continued to move well in the pocket and show great composure in the face of the rush.
What Foles really struggled with was his mechanics on the deeper passes and holding the ball too long when being chased. He lost a fumble when the Eagles were in field goal range early in the first half and also cost the Eagles the game on the final play with a grounding call that wouldn’t have been called if he had thrown the ball away a second later.
Foles’ mechanics were an issue coming out of college. It was the main reason he was a third round draft pick. He doesn’t step into and drive his deep balls like he should and it really affects the velocity and the ability to get the ball to the receiver.
Foles’ issues are very fixable, but it remains to be seen if he can be a franchise quarterback or not. It’s not fair to evaluate him as a franchise quarterback in a handful of starts with a second rate offensive line and several key offensive plays missing as well.
The next Eagles head coach can evaluate and decide if he wants to stick with Foles, bring in a veteran for competition or draft a quarterback early. Sunday’s game showed the world that Foles can be a franchise quarterback and also showed that maybe he cannot.
For Eagles fans, the end of a dreadful season is almost near. The 4-11 Eagles have just one more game left. By this time next week the rumors surrounding the next Eagles head coach will really be heating up. There was already a story on CBS Sports about a source who believes the Eagles will be in heavy pursuit of Chip Kelly. Whether that is the case or not, it will be nice to talk about the optimism that is the NFL offseason rather than the depression that has been the Eagles 2012 season.